On Friday evening, June 16th, A 19-year old was electrocuted at Put-in-Bay.
Evan Currie, a sophomore Xavier University student from Dublin, OH, lost his life after being electrocuted shortly after the family boat, a 33’ Sea Ray Sundancer was tied up at its dock and plugged into shore power at Miller Marina on Bayview Ave. west of downtown Put-in-Bay Ohio.
According to reports, the family dog, Daisy, fell in the water at the dock. The father, Jeffrey Currie, jumped into the water to rescue the struggling dog but began to struggle, too. His two sons then jumped in to help him and they too began to struggle. At that point, someone on the dock pulled the shore power and the electric shocking in the water stopped. The father, the youngest son and the dog were pulled to safety, but when Evan was pulled out from underwater, he was unresponsive and convulsing.
Put-in-Bay emergency forces were immediately called to the scene, He was given CPR but later pronounced dead after being
taken to Port Clinton. Marina owners reportedly had the dock’s electric service inspected by an electrician and found nothing out of order. On Monday morning another report stated Currie had had his boat inspected by the Ohio Division of Pure Assets (part of
the Ohio Department of Natural Resources) and that a “radical examination” of his boat had been done and no issues were located. The report went on to say, “Currie believes the brief (sic) got here from the dock.” The father also told WTOL that ODNR found no problems with his boat after a thorough inspection.
According to an electrician we talked with, electricity finds the easiest way to ground that it can. It can be caused by faulty ground wires, mis-wiring, a loose wire or corrosion and can be either be in the boat wiring, a power cord or in the dock wiring. He also said it can be hit or miss depending on conditions at the time. Another report said officials will attempt to recreate the conditions that caused the accident. The Curries’ 33-foot Sea Ray Sundancer was reportedly taken back to the mainland in order to recreate the incident in an attempt to figure out what happened.
The results of that re-creation were expected to be released a few days later, but at the end of the month, as we go to print, there was no official statement from any authorities. There has never been a report of electricity in the water at the Put-in-Bay Miller Marina and thousands of Lake Erie boaters have docked there over the years. Unfortunately, there was a similar electrocution off the dock in front of the Crew’s Nest years ago when a young man was diving in the water to find a pair of sunglasses for a boater. He grabbed the boat while in the water and was immediately electrocuted and died. Since then the Crew’s has done an inspection of their electric hookups on a regular basis, plus after this incident purchased a tester that can read electricity around their docks.
Electrical shock drowning is comparatively uncommon. It is referred to as the “silent killer.” There is no hint of the danger until one feels the shock in the water. Simply 10 milliamps within the water — the equal of about 1/50 of the facility of a 60-watt mild bulb — may cause paralysis and demise. The phenomenon can happen anyplace electrical energy meets water and swimmers in all places should remain out of the water close to marinas, docks or boat yards. There are meters and alarms to detect electricity in the water, but they are relatively new technology and are not required by code.